Coffee Shop and Diner
I remember it well....
A rainy night, I walked along a busy street. A quick check of my watch, 10:36. I've got time....
Since my younger days, I loved to walk at night. Now I do it every week. Making certain I'm back in my house by 12:00.
It has something to do about being alive. Then there's also the feeling of the cold damp night and the look it gives to you.
You know, long black overcoat, black umbrella with silver handle, graying beard....
Says something like, "This old dude's cool but don't mess with i'm."
My eyes glanced at the stores along the way...
Hmmm, I don't remember that place there before.??
There squished between a shoe store and electronic shop was what looked like a small cafe.
I went up to the large glass window to read the name of the place.
It said "Sakura's", I almost didn't see the words "Coffee Shop and Diner" written under the name.
I don't think I've tried this place before....
I folded my umbrella and opened the glass and metal door...
Light chimes rang as the I stepped inside.
The door swung slowly close behind me, and the door chime subsided as I looked around.
There were few people inside. After getting my bearing, I walked to the counter and sat down upon one of the stools.
A young waitress, who was tending the counter ask me what I'd have.
"Pepsi." came my quick reply.
The man who was sitting next to me gave me an odd look, but said nothing.
The waitress simply fetched my soft drink and returned with it promptly.
I thanked her and began to sip my soda.
I turned my head to look out the window.
Sitting at the window booth was a young man and lady.
It seem as if when my gaze fell upon them a scene began to play out.
The young lady quickly got up from their table, grabbed her purse and started to head towards the door.
Before she could get anywhere, the young man hand reached out and caught her wrist.
She stood still for a second, yet he said nothing. With a sharp jerk she yanked her arm out of his grip.
The chimes of the door rang again as we watch her step out into the rain.
The young man slumped back into the booth, staring out the window.
Grabbing my cool beverage, I stood up.
I walked over to the booth by the window and sat down before the young man.
He tried to ignore me....
It took another sip of my Pepsi... "Lonely night?" I inquired.
"What business of your is it!!" he asked.
"Nothing, it's just a shame to see a young girl have to walk home alone in the rain."
Gesturing toward the young lass, I still could see her umbrella as she headed away.
He stayed there for a moment and did not reply, then quickly got up and paid the register.
The chime almost clanged this time, as he exited the door. His umbrella popped open as he passed the window.
I watched him head down the street. He came upon her at the corner. She was waiting for the light to change..
I watch it play out, back and forth with no words....
The light changed and I saw two umbrellas become one, as they walk together across the street in each others arms.
I wish someone had done that for me twenty year ago....
I sipped my drink again.
Mmmm... This is good Pepsi......
I finished my cola, stood up and dump some change on the table..
It raddled on its hard top, as I walked to the counter and ask for the bill.
Then I grabbed up my umbrella which I had left lying next to the stool I was sitting on.
Tighten up my coat.
Then turn as if in an after thought, asked the waitress behind the counter...
"Isn't it a little odd to be opened this late at night?"
"Sir" she replied, "You should know by now, we're always open."
"Yes, I see."
I went to the door and stepped back outside.
The sound of the chimes cut off when the door fully closed.
There was now only the sound of the cars and rain.
I lifted up my umbrella and continued on my way.
But that little coffee shop was still with me.
It's the kind of place that makes you feel warm inside.
Especially on cold lonely nights.
And so I thought to myself......
*There should always be a place like Sakura's...*
copyright 2001 by Rodney A. Brubaker.